My name is David.

I’m a foreigner. I’ve been a foreigner for most of my life. If I end up staying in Austria, I will most likely remain a foreigner ’til I die. Regardless of what passport I have.

When I first went through the process of getting legal here, I was told I could stay, as long as I didn’t work. If I could survive with no income for 6 months, I would then be allowed to get a job.

Some other people said this was nonsense, and since I was married to an Austrian I should be able to start working immediately. The bureaucrats didn’t agree, and I ended up turning down several offers of employment because it wasn’t possible to get the paperwork done.

After 5 months of no-income living I was told I could work. Not only that, I was told I could have worked the entire time, and the 6 month waiting period didn’t apply to me.

The jobs were already gone though, along with 5 months worth of income that I could have used to help support my wife and child.

Oh well. I still had it better than most foreigners here. Since most people thought I was from eastern Europe, they were only assholes until they found out I was from the US. Then they were nice.

Since my preferred line of work was graphic and media design, I also had a certain advantage. Now that I had papers stating I could legally work here, no one ever asked me to work illegally.

Instead, I was offered a position based on a werkvertrag. It’s supposed to be something like a freelance contract. This form of employment was developed, or at least encouraged, in the nineties by the current government. As far as I know both the Socialists and the

6 Comments so far

  1. sara (unregistered) on April 29th, 2005 @ 5:41 pm

    so, the large broadcasting company is fm4/orf?

    why are moderators automatically freelancers and reporters are not?? is peter rapp a freelancer? I thougth they are normal employees… o.0

    ps: daddy d is married?! NNOOOOO!!!

  2. nex (unregistered) on April 30th, 2005 @ 5:49 am

    woo, dave is back, nice. werkvertr

  3. rehberger (unregistered) on April 30th, 2005 @ 7:38 am

    werkvertrag… an old system, notnewly invented by SP

  4. rehberger (unregistered) on April 30th, 2005 @ 7:39 am

    werkvertrag… an old system, not newly invented by SP

  5. sara (unregistered) on April 30th, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

    und gleich nochmal, weils so sch

  6. lucy (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 1:22 pm

    yeah, the good old werkvertrag… i got one with a rather big magazine publishing house – which is just as writing a rather big broadcasting company. it says that i am no employee and will never be and agreed to this. for getting it, i had to sign that the big publisher is not my main source of income. (they are afraid of being dragged to court).

    but then, ooh surprise: the werkvertrag states that i am not allowed to work for ANY other magazine or newspaper. konkurrenzklausel, they call it.

    so wow: what am i supposed to do for my main source of income, then? i mean i am a journalist and am not allowed to work as such outside of the magazine i have the contract with – so what did they mean: clean houses all nights long besides a fulltime job here? babysit? work nightshifts in a bar? whatever it is – i could never do enough hours to make it a main source of income!

    i did not sign this – although if i did, i could easily charge them and make them pay my social insurance. but then – what for, they are about the only magazine publisher in the country.

    my small revenge is walking in and out whenever i please, stating at every opportunity: i am not employed here, you can’t tell me when to be here. but i am the only one. three quarters of people working here have the same shitty contract, but let themselves treat like employees, sitting around until 6 each night and appearing at their desks at 9 every morning – just like the bosses want them to.

    and this – total subordination – is what makes the werkvertrag-system work. call it the perfection of capitalism. exploited workers with no social security that think that they are entrepreneurs and act like total employees just because they hope that it will save their little shitty journalist-job they so much longed for – selfbetrayal at its best.

    makes you wanna puke.

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